Tuesday, January 31, 2006


Sarah Peters and Taryn Fitzgerald at
P.S. 122 Gallery
February 4 - 26, 2006
Reception: February 4, 5-7pm
Gallery hours: Thursday - Sunday, 12-6pm
Location: East Village, 9th Street, just East of First Ave.

Sarah Peters = very very special person = great drawer of wispy idealist meadows of feverish sweetness

Go Sarah!!!! You are the love of the area behind my eyes. Your drawings are the delights of morning freshness.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Death on a Pale Horse

Continuation of yesterday's jaunty theme. By William Blake. Picturing doom is the style of the morning, after unfortunate mishaps and eruptions of the night. It is not baleful, it is dynamic, as the possibilities for transformation exist. My advice to you: stop eating the meats at a certain point. They do you no good. The alarm bell of beeps is sounding in my inner ear. The ground is coming up from underneath. Consider that I am trying to smile.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Knight Death and the Devil

Please, I address thee to come into me today and focus my mind on the tasks at hand. The tasks that will bring me closer to visionary nether regions in the form of paint marks, large and small. There are 4 biggies that are near completion. Mind, be sharpened by the forces of evil and hands, instruct the paintings to cave to your will. It's a very dark, very very evil business, the business of the shack. I am growing fangs in anticipation.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Mornin' Earthworms

Hi. My soul is delicate this morning, as are me gums. I had to watch my very favorite team of cuties walk off into the night without me. I cried tears of tainted juice onto my argyle vest, which is now stained with tragedy. The gauntlet of nerve endings is leaving me after a night of dreams including large wet toads, muddy grass and daggers in my paintings. There was actually a large sword at one point, the one I threatened to carry with me to Chelsea yesterday, impaling one of my relics.

One thing that was gained last night was the excitement of communing with Corny and Mrs. Cub. There is much affection in this household for those two.

Otherwise, the morning is slow, like the rocks of time. I plan to stay in bed until at least 11 and then drag sorry bum into the shack. Hello, relics. Please behave yourselves today. I will make you all stand straight up and tell me exactly what you need, right into my face, right into my eyes, and then my hands will do it, automatically.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Alone in the Tropics

This is one of David Humphrey's paintings that will be in the 2-person show with Jeff Gauntt that opens tonight at Sikkema Jenkins. Here we have a young man whose thoughts are germinating into palm trees and neatly cut hard-boiled eggs. I want to tell him, look, you are not alone, you have many versions of yourself to keep you company, in both middle-age man and dog forms. You are ok, young man, you are in a magical land with spirits of woozy shapes to soothe you.



Thursday, January 26, 2006

Post-Fashion Forward

In the spirit of blood and liveliness I hereby endorse this new look for whatever season. It is a timeless look that will accent whatever color is your chosen shirt or vest. This is the look of the future, the look of disguise, the look that tells you it's not as bad as it seems from the outside. This is the look that tells you to think inward and see into the windows of the wounds, into the souls of others. It's very spiritually motivated, insofar as spirituality is connected to wanting to truly know others.

I am post-tooth extraction so things are a bit nutty over here. Looky here. At least I can type.

Freaky Formats

The life format revealed below, although mostly disguised, may be too frightening to keep up. Maybe a one-day only fabrication. Vandals are coming in my mind to self-cancel.

I am in love with chairs today.

Thank you Sloth, Belatedly

Sloth, I must take close-ups of the beard and wig and the things embedded within, but until then, I am venturing out with this photo. MM takes special note of Sloth's close attentions. You are a darling gender-neutral fabrication with much fur, much log. I heart you. Thank you for your strangely considered costume-gift. I honor it.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

A Student

Last afternoon, into the evening, was my drawing studies class for sophomores. I must tell you about one student in the class. I will change his name but you must trust that his real name is close to being this strange and telling: Bud Wise, I am deciding to call him. He is tall, skinny, weedy, with two tufts of mange on his chin. He seems like he sells hay or healing balms by the side of a dirt road in a fairy tale. He is a wonderful quiet kid and I feel lucky to know him. Here are some reasons why:

1. In an initial questionnaire I handed out last week, one of the questions was, What interests you most about drawing? His answer:

nature, automatic writing, boats, trains, shamanism, illusions.

2. Another question: Describe the best drawing you ever made (best according to you). He wrote a long treatise about his grandfather who was an acrobat and an airplane pilot, that he used to like to sit in his office and look at his stuff. That his grandmother collected porcelain owls and images of owls from all over the world and he is planning to draw them all. He never described a drawing.

3. He completes the first assignment incorrectly but makes beautiful drawing of himself with eyes extremely to each side, like a fish, with his hands touching, palmward, in front of him, legs crossed, like a Buddha pose, but not. He went on to explain that the drawing represented total happiness and he chose to use branches and snakes as substitute genitals, they were emanating from his lap.

More anecdotes to come. Bud Wise, I may pay you to be a student in every class I ever teach. I predict he will do everything incorrectly but better than anything I could have hoped for.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Paul Celan

He is one of my favorite poets. He was in a Nazi labor camp, his parents were murdered by Nazis and he killed himself in 1970. What more disaster could possibly befall a person? But his poetry is so incredibly beautiful and concise. Sometimes I like to read them in the studio because they focus me - my thoughts and my feelings - into condensed, purposeful action. They always do the trick, when I remember to read them, that is. Just thought I would share a few:

let the dwarf-sounds in,
they have been examined:
together they muffle up the great heart
and bear it off on their shoulders to
every distress, every distress.

THE CORDON OF DOVES cut through,
the blasted
powers of blossoms,

charged with misdeed
the sought-for-thing, soul.

DREAM-DRIVEN on the cir-
cular track,

two masks for one,
the dust of planets in hollowed

nightblind, dayblind,

the poppy-capsule within you
goes down somewhere,
a fellow star,

the swimming domain of sorrow
records another shadow,

it all does you good,

the heartstone thrusts through its fan,
no cooling
at all,

it all does you good,

you sail, smoulder, and die down,
swarms of eyes pass the straits,
a blood clot enters the track,
swarms of earth encourage you,

all the weather in the universe
is harvesting.

Motivational Fiction

I am posting more artwork. It is an attempt to motivate self into the upper atmosphere of finishing new paintings. Here is one from a few months ago. Also, please, Oh Merciful Goddess of Assertiveness, help me to begin asking people over for studio visits. Like UF said this morning, if you never have anyone over, nothing is sure to happen. Except by magic. But UF, I said, magical thinking is my favorite kind. Hi to you all. Have a gracious gray day and remember that someone out there, someone, somewhere, is probably squeezing you in their mind's eye. Giving you the thumbs up without you even knowing it.

And Corny, this one's for you:

(excerpted from the ridiculously narcissistic journal of MM at 18)

Now I can breathe. It's dark but light enough so I can write a little and I am listening to Beethoven's 6th Symphony, the first movement, and finally it is possible to sway back and forth in my mind without interference, all the while conscious of what it means not to be undead.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Brain Damage

It's there, I can feel it, like phantom limbs in the pathways of death.

I have something to say but can't remember what it is. Last night was a patchwork quilt of sleeps, cobbled together from 10 minute bits.

I watched Marathon Man. Yes. The dentist. Not as scary as I thought it would be but still, OMG ow.

I'll try to get it together to say something more better later.

I love you, world!!!! I love you, bandits!!!!!! Especially the ones who get drunk, fall into things and move about strangely, making ululations in the night. Keep on feeling the feelings.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Jesus Plus Toast Equals Something

Can you see his face I mean my face in the burn marks on the toast? It's a birthday miracle. Also born today:

Lorenzo Lamas

I feel myself becoming more loving, in the way of Jesus, just as I suspected I would. This is the year for me. I am going to emerge big time, in high-quality gender-neutral style, and then disappear, making you all feel guilty for eternity that I martyred myself for you. Or something like that. I forget. I am part Jew just like Jesus, so I never really read that much of the Bible. At any rate it promises to be a great year of observation, ecstatic frenzies, embezzlement, bastardizing and tearing up inappropriately, etc.

Happy Un-Birthday to all my fellow bloggers.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Chewy Winds of Despair and Grace

Can you believe these windy ideas? I think we will all be swept into the Hudson today.

Last night I had a dream that I was continually burning things: a cheese souffle in the kitchen, a weird crusty pie on the moon. Yes I was on the moon, magnetically pulled to its surface, pretty much ok, pretty much feeling out in space but not bouncing around, weightless. I had just learned I was not the winner of America's Next Top Model and was consoling myself, making said crusty pie. Then I was back on earth, consoling the dealers whom I had hoped to show with: it's ok, I don't need you, don't feel weird, I will find someone else. I was trying to work harder on my renderings of the lunar surface in ballpoint. Then I realized someone I care for deeply had been involved with a female country singer (very upsetting). Then I went to a waterslide amusement park with PD and could not go on the menacing conveyor belt squish-splash ride. PD jumped right in. I could not. I met her at the cafe at the end, near the parking lot. Sorry, PD. You weren't too mad.

See you soon,


Monday, January 16, 2006

Drawing Syllabus

This is my basic idea. Class starts tomorrow, Drawing Studies for Sophomores. If anyone can remember an interesting or particularly fun assignment from art school, please post. Perhaps I can integrate. I am looking for maximum fun capacity involvement of these stinkers. I want them to want to draw. I want them to need it like they need juice or beer or skittles from the machine. I have divided the class into 4 sections:


Self Portrait
Figure/figures drawn from photographic sources
Imaginary figures
Integrating doodles with sources


Literal landscape, drawn from the world – either natural or urban
Dreamscape – imaginary mental space
Landscape into abstraction – focusing on color, recognizable elements simplified into shapes or patterns


Rule-driven abstraction, drawing according to formula
Mapping or diagram of a place from memory
Collaboration - in class
Process – drawing as trace, rubbing, imprint, spill
Collage as archive – bulletin board, scrapbook, collection


Overlay and juxtaposition– Superimpose and/or integrate 2 or more approaches in a final project.

It took me way too much time to get to this subjective place. This class could be taught in a million ways, I am trying to be inclusive, but it really does sway towards my own interests.

And meanwhile, MM, you really need to start getting more work finished in the studio. Just saying. Time to finish up and move forward. Time to have studio visits and shit and crap. THE TIME IS NOW. I will be the age of Jesus the year he died on Friday. I am Jesus Jackson, the new-fangled Jesus. My time may be nearly up, it is imperative to make the most of it, as they say in the cancer ward. There is something real wrong with me otherwise I wouldn't say these things. Please forgive me.

Love and kisses on the neck,


One More Thing

In the spirit of free to be you and me, guess what? I just sold this painting. I haven't sold anything in a year. I am very very very happy. It's called "Nest" because it is a nest for a shallow vortex of sparkle. It is hovering. That is the story.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Dear Friends

Hi. Please try to identify me. The winner will receive a gift certificate for

1. General Satisfaction


2. Instantaneous Fun

Good luck to you, it's not as hard as it seems. What am I?

Friday, January 13, 2006

Simple Thoughts

Thanks everyone for the wonderful show title ideas. That was the most fun thread I have had yet on this blog. I had to take a break for a little as I was so immersed in it that I began to frighten myself. Becoming united with objects again, pushing into new territories in the paint world has been my ideal, I have both succeeded and failed as always. The thread on Fairy Butler's blog about studio time and how much is enough makes me feel better about my guilt about not being there enough which invariably leads to insane extended hours and obsessed anti-social behaviors. I don't have what I want yet, either in my work or my career but maybe that's good because it keeps me working? Dunno. I am fearful and fearless like a kitty cat on its own turf. I must return to my nest of blankets and nurse from the teat of simplification.

Have a nice weekend. I am going to Atlanta to view UF's show.

I am almost 33, next week, a week from today. I don't understand any of this. Thanks for listening.



Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Underwater Visions

This was one of my favorite paintings in the show at MOMA which is up until January 23. In the passage from seahorse on the left to unidentifiable but clearly meaning-laden forms through to the right, I can see the merging of his interests: the decorative, the biological, the glyph, the fantastical, the anatomical. There was an early drawing in the show called Dream Polyp, which says it all - that occurences of body are connected to imagination and dreams. His use of color or thick black atmosphere creates the mind-stage from where apparitional moments emerge only subtly. Little faces, trees, chimerical creatures, ghostly figures, butterflies, are all seemingly a part of the almost toxic ether he creates with either color in the paintings, or dense blacks in the drawings and prints. The radiant glow he manages to achieve in his paintings seem like synthetic light sources or alien emanations, they are so unnatural and extreme. He borders on cheese but it's so loopy and ahead of its time, and I have a tendency to embrace the cheese, so....I said YES!!! I loved this show. Go to the MOMA site www.moma.org to see more images. They made it impossible for me to link to the images, unfortunately.

Quite a departure, I know, this post is, from the dead baby shenanigans and bad show titles of the last few days. I think we all needed to get something off our chests, if you will.

I am thinking the Bad Show Titles should be a regular occurrence that we keep adding to. There are so many more out there, I am sure. Any other game suggestions will be much appreciated.

One more thing....missing angels, our little stillborns, we are not done with you. I don't know how or when, but you will be back, I can feel it in my sick thick gullet......

Monday, January 09, 2006

Please Excuse Me

In no way do I want to cease ruminations on the topic of Bad Art Show Titles, but I have this love for Donald Barthelme and it is so deep that I must post another quote. This one is from "The Rise of Capitalism" also from the 60 Stories collection.

"The first thing I did was make a mistake. I thought I had understood capitalism, but what I had done was assume an attitude - melancholy sadness - toward it. This attitude is not correct. Fortunately your letter came, at that instant. "Dear Rupert, I love you every day. You are the world, which is life. I love you I adore you I am crazy about you. Love, Marta." Reading between the lines, I understood your critique of my attitude towards capitalism....Darkness falls. My neighbor continues to commit suicide, once a fortnight. I have his suicides geared into my schedule because my role is to save him, once I was late and he spent two days unconscious on the floor. But now that I have understood that I have not understood capitalism, perhaps a less equivocal position toward it can be "hammered out."

Sunday, January 08, 2006

A Fun Game

Here is a fun game that I only started to play last night with some friends just as we were leaving a dinner party:

What would be the most wrong, the most embarrassing, the most raw and inappropriate title for a solo show?

Here are my ideas:

1. My Barren Womb
2. I am Miserable
3. Please Buy My Art and/or Write About It

On the Steps of the Conservatory

This is the opening from a Donald Barthelme short story:

-C'mon Hilda don't fret.
-Well Maggie it's a blow.
-Don't let it bother you, don't let it get you down.
-Once I thought they were going to admit me to the Conservatory but now I know they will never admit me to the Conservatory.
-Yes they are very particular about who they admit to the Conservatory. They will never admit you to the Conservatory.
-They will never admit me to the Conservatory, I know that now.
-You are not Conservatory material, I'm afraid. That's the plain truth of it.
-You're not important, they told me, just remember that, you're not important, what's so important about you? What?

Kind of reminds me of something. Something about, I don't know, being an artist?

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Medrie MacPhee

I loved this show. Please go see it at Michael Steinberg Fine Art. It was a fun and crowded opening, a testament to Medrie's wonderfulness. I have to go back to see it again with less people in order to have a coherent thought about it. They are very DiChirico, very Tanguy, there is a desert-like loneliness to them but the bright palette and warped biomorphic playfulness make them feel simultaneously buoyant and alive. I said a version of this already on Corny's blog, but felt the need to repeat self here.

Go Medrie! You are very loved.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

A Great Book

"Atonement" by Ian McEwan. Highly recommend. Very sad in a strange and removed way, very epic and wonderful. Just thought I'd mention it.